Friends Central
Friends Central
The One With The Monkey
Season 1, episode 10
10th overall episode of Friends
Ross introduces his monkey to the group.
Episode Information

December 15, 1994

Written by

Adam Chase & Ira Ungerleider

Directed by

Peter Bonerz

Alternate titles
Episode Guide

The One Where Underdog Gets Away


The One With Mrs. Bing


"The One With The Monkey" is the tenth episode of the first season of Friends. It premiered on December 15, 1994. It was written by Adam Chase & Ira Ungerleider and directed by Peter Bonerz.


The holidays are coming, and Ross introduces the guys to his new roommate, Marcel the monkey. Meanwhile, Chandler proposes a no-date New Year's Eve, about which no one is really enthusiastic. In the middle of her "suicidal" performance (apt enough, as twelve of thirteen songs are about her mother's suicide), Phoebe notices two guys, Max and David, whose conversation is disrupting her singing. It turns out they were discussing Phoebe's attractiveness and David thinks she is particularly cute and beautiful, which is enough for her to start dating him.

Phoebe wants to bring David to the New Year's party at Monica's, but the guys find it annoying, as this will break the no-date promise. Ironically, Chandler is the first to break the pact by inviting Janice. After talking it out with him, Phoebe gets David to kiss her. Eventually, what with Rachel's boyfriend Paolo catching an earlier flight, Monica inviting Fun Bobby, and Joey hooking up with Sandy, Ross is the only one without a date for the Dick Clark festivity. Max interrupts the group with news—he and David have gotten the grant, full expenses paid, for research in Minsk for three years—and the departure date is January 1. However, David is not sure whether to go because of Phoebe, and when he asks her to decide for him, she tells him to stay.

At the party, almost everyone is with their dates, but plans are not nearly as good as expected: Joey's date has brought her two children, so that he couldn't kiss her without them watching, and then she ends up with Max; Janice continually exhibits the features that made Chandler dump her in the first place; Paolo misses his flight and Rachel is beaten up by a woman; following his grandfather's very recent death, Fun Bobby is far from fun; and Ross brings Marcel but the monkey ditches him. Just as Phoebe's night promises to be a good one, Max reveals to David how despite David's decision to stay, he's still going to Minsk. Brokenheartedly, Phoebe tells David she believes he belongs in Minsk, and he'll have to go to fulfill his career. David doesn't know how to break up with her, so she has to teach him that, too. David does, however, promise her that he won't forget her, and that he loves her. Phoebe replies that she will miss him.

The friends find themselves keeping the promise they all strove hard to break—each is alone at the start of the new year. Nobody is in the mood to kiss anyone, but Chandler is moaning that he has no one to kiss and Joey kisses him to shut him up.

The ending scene shows Ross sadly rambling away to Rachel about how he loves his monkey and that he doesn't love him back, only for her to tell him that she thinks that the "bitch" cracked her tooth, implying that she didn't listen what he was saying.

Cast and Crew

Main Cast

Jennifer Aniston - Rachel Greene
Courteney Cox - Monica Geller
Lisa Kudrow - Phoebe Buffay
Matt LeBlanc - Joey Tribbiani
Matthew Perry - Chandler Bing
David Schwimmer - Ross Geller

Supporting Cast

Hank Azaria - David
Vincent Ventresca - Fun Bobby
Wayne Pére - Max
Sarah MacDonnell - Sandy
Maggie Wheeler - Janice Hosenstein
Dick Clark - Himself (uncredited)
Katie - Marcel the Monkey (uncredited)
James Michael Tyler - Gunther (uncredited)


Directed By:
Peter Bonerz

Written By:
Adam Chase & Ira Ungerleider



  • Along with "The One With Two Parts, Part 1", Lisa Kudrow received her first Emmy nomination for this episode.
  • This is the first appearance of Fun Bobby and David in the series.
    • Vincent Ventresca, who plays Fun Bobby, was also in "Romy and Michele's High School Reunion," which starred Lisa Kudrow.
  • This is also the first appearance of Ross's monkey, Marcel.
  • Chandler is the first of the gang to look after Marcel for Ross. The second is Rachel in "The One Where The Monkey Gets Away".
  • This is the first Christmas episode in the series.
  • This is one of two New Year's Eve parties the gang host; the second takes place during "The One With All The Resolutions" (S5E11)
  • The song that plays during the party is "Shiny Happy People" (1991) by R.E.M. This song was considered as the possible Friends theme before production began.
  • This is the first time in the series that Chandler reunites with Janice. They later briefly reunite in "The One With The Candy Hearts" (S1E14), and start a relationship in "The One With Barry And Mindy's Wedding" (S2E24). Much to Chandler's horror, Janice wants to get back together in "The One With All The Rugby" (S4E15) following her divorce.
  • This episode is the first to feature a shot of a kiss between two same-sex people (Chandler and Joey).
  • Max says that Minsk is in Russia, with Phoebe replying “I know where Minsk is”. Both are wrong - Minsk is actually in Belarus, having officially become the capital of the Republic of Belarus in 1991 (having previously been the capital of the Belarussian SSR, part of the USSR) - three years before the episode takes place.
  • Chandler mentions getting bitten by a peacock, which was first mentioned by Phoebe in "The One With The Blackout" (S1E7).
  • At the party Max refers to Phoebe as 'Yoko', this is a reference to John Lennon's wife Yoko Ono who many blame to have come between The Beatles, causing them to break up.
  • In this episode, Phoebe and Chandler are seen decorating Monica's tree, but in "The One With The Routine" (S6E10), Ross suggests that Monica never lets people help decorate her tree when he says "Wow, Monica's letting other people help decorate her tree! Did someone get her drunk again?"
  • Max tells Phoebe that the trip to Minsk is for three years; however David doesn't resurface until Season 7, rather than Season 4. The most likely explanation is that he got another grant to continue his research while his first one was still in progress.
  • In the uncut DVD version of the episode, extra scenes during the party include Monica and Phoebe helping Rachel get ready for the party in her bedroom, Monica telling Fun Bobby she knows how he feels about losing a grandparent but asking him to stop dragging the party down, and Rachel trying to start a conversation with a guy at the party and spitting her wine due to her fat lip.
  • Ross saying "It's hard to accept that something that you love so much doesn't love you back" is actually aimed at Rachel who's sitting next to him on the couch after the party. Her reply leaves Ross exasperated.
  • Ross starts to say he's too old for a roommate but then realizes who he's talking to. Later in the series Rachel will become his on-off roommate as will Phoebe for a brief period but Rachel becomes his permanent roommate when she moves back in with Ross in the series finale, the two marrying shortly afterwards.
  • In the coffeehouse, Max and David mention Daryl Hannah. Five years prior to this episode Daryl Hannah co-starred in the film Steele Magnolias with Julia Roberts who plays Susie Moss in The One After The Superbowl, Part 2.
  • Janice references the show "Candid Camera" when she says "smile, you're on Janice's camera".
  • The Dick Clarke New Year Show is also mentioned in The One With The Routine.
  • Phoebe has at least 3 zits near either edge of her lower lip.


  • When Phoebe and Rachel see Ugly Naked Guy hanging candy, they're standing by the window. Rachel says "oh that's festive" and turns back towards the room. A second later and Ross opens the door and says "hey guys, there's someone I'd like you to meet" and Rachel and Phoebe are standing by the kitchen table. They couldn't have moved that quick.
  • When Ross takes a picture of Chandler after him dumping Janice, and he says "oh, will you give me the thing?!", the frame skips after the flash, placing Chandler in a slightly different position, showing a cut in editing.
  • When Rachel takes a tissue from the box, she raises it to be level with her mouth but in the next shot it's level with her right ear, showing an edit.
  • Just before Chandler tells the woman about the peacock, a shot of Sandy and Max standing outside Monica's bedroom is shown. The woman leaves and Joey asks Chandler if he's seen Sandy. Sandy and Max leave Monica's bedroom around 10 seconds after they were standing outside yet Chandler says they were "getting it on in Monica's room".
  • When David is starts talking about Daryl Hannah, the extra in red has her arms crossed but in the next shot her chin is resting in her left hand.
  • During certain shots towards the green door at the back of the apartment, it can be seen partly open but in darkness and at certain times a light can be seen shining through a gap in the door but with the door closed.

Memorable Quotes

  • [Ross enters the room with a monkey on his shoulder]
    Chandler: Look, that monkey's got a Ross on his ass.
  • [Joey enters the room while wearing an elf's costume]
    Chandler: Too many jokes! Must...mock...Joey!
  • Ross: It's hard to accept that something that you love so much doesn't love you back.

External links

Episode Navigation

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24
Preceded by
"The One Where Underdog Gets Away"
"The One With The Monkey"" Followed by
"The One With Mrs. Bing"